US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Published in Quaternary Science Reviews 19 (2000) 125-140.


Examples are presented of inter-hemispheric comparison of instrumental climate and paleoclimate proxy records from the Americas for different temporal scales. Despite a certain symmetry of seasonal precipitation patterns along the PEP 1 transect, decadal variability of winter precipitation shows different characteristics in terms of amplitude and frequency in both the last 100 and last 1000 years. Such differences in variability are also seen in a comparison of time series of different El Nino/Southern Oscillation proxy records from North and South America, however, these differences do not appear to affect the spatial correlation with Pacific sea surface temperature patterns. Local and regional differences in response to climate change are even more pronounced for records with lower temporal resolution, and inter-hemispheric synchroneity may or may not be indicative of the same forcing. This aspect is illustrated in an inter-hemispheric comparison of the last 1000 years of glacier variability, and of the full- and late-glacial lake level history.